10 Reasons Blogging is Toxic

Throughout my time as a blogger I constantly have random thoughts and questions about blogging and is it really worth it? Part of me thinks that blogging and everything that surrounds it can be totally toxic, I still continue to do it as it is something I love despite how hard it can be to manage and uphold even if you're a full-time blogger let alone working a 40-hour a week job on top. Here are my 10 toxic thoughts: - 

1. You constantly compare yourself to other bloggers. Why doesn't my blog look that good? Where do they get all of their ideas from? How did they get that perfect Instagrammable worth photo?

2. Blogging takes up a heck a lot of time, meaning sometimes you might have to cancel plans or you can't spend your evenings vegging out having a Netflix marathon, potentially resulting in your partner being slightly miffed but ever so understanding.

3. Why do certain bloggers get more opportunity than others? Another case of the green eyed monster although I would never begrudge anybody of having opportunities I can't help but think why not me? 

4. Twitter feuds! Lets be honest Twitter has been doing overtime with fellow bloggers having disagreements. Nothing wrong with that but in my opinion sometimes it can go too far. 

5. Those blog posts that make you question your entire blogging existence "5 Reasons Why I Will Never Return To Your Blog" I think I might shed a tear.

6. Why did I pick such a darn expensive hobby? Yes you can always work with what you got but you'll always want to upgrade to make your blog the best it can possibly be. From a new laptop to the latest camera and don't even get me started on those haul treats you need to buy for a post.

7. The constant struggle between deciding whether to be a blogger or enter the world of YouTube.

8. Coming up with original and interesting posts, I regularly try to brainstorm ideas for my blog but it's one thing writing ideas down and actually producing a post. 

9. Re-taking the same photo multiple times because you just don't like it. 

10. The struggle of keeping your tech charged up! Phone, check! Camera, check! Laptop, check! 

I hope I'm not the only one out there that sometimes has these frustrations and thoughts? Let me know if you can relate to any of my blogging woes or if you have any other struggles with the blogging life? 

Obsessions #3 ♡

Keeping it small this time around I actually don't have that many products I'm really obsessing over at the moment. I'm not sure why I think it might be because its been that time of the month and my skins been reacting really badly to it especially around my chin and jawline, I have no idea why as it's never usually this bad but I can only assume that the heat isn't helping with keeping my skin clear and oil free, let me know if you have any recommendations on how to control hormonal spots or adult acne I'd really appreciate any tips or help. With that being said a few of the products I've been enjoying using are skincare related but I'm still currently experimenting with products to help with my breakouts so there aren't that many and I've been almost detoxing from makeup to help were possible and as I've been off from work for over a week on annual leave and not necessarily going out this has been a great opportunity to go makeup free.

 P.S Pro Brush Primark £1.00: - After seeing all of these oval precision brushes all of the internet I was like no way is this for me and dismissed it pretty much straight away. Let much just say how wrong was I? I mean move over your generic foundation brush and Beauty Blender because I ain't looking back! This has completely changed the way I apply my make up and I couldn't be more than happier with the results it gives. I swear it honestly leaves my skin looking airbrushed it applies foundation that well. I've also been using it to apply my concealer under my eyes, on my nose and on my chin/ jawline area and again brilliant. The P.S Pro Brush just literally works wonders in buffs in my foundation so smoothly and my concealer application has never looked so faultless leaving no creased lines or patchiness. I'm almost tempted to purchase the amazing 8 piece Makeup Revolution Precision Brush Collection but at £45.00 at the moment it's a tad out of my price range even if that equates to just over £5.50 per brush, the struggles of saving hey?

Benefit They're Real Mascara Mini £9.95: - On my quest to use up some of my mini products, seriously I don't know how I accumulate so many of them, I took a couple of my mini Benefit mascaras to London with me including this one and Benefit Badgal Lash Mini Mascara £5.00. Although I did like the Badgal mascara I felt the applicator was a little bit OTT for me and the size of it scared me a tad, not something I'd want to be putting near to my eyes on a restless morning of fears of poking my eyes out. But the applicator on the They're Real mascara is ideal for me and something I feel much more comfortable using. I will say Benefit have done a great job with these mascaras as they hold out incredibly well and once the end of the day comes I struggle to remove every last trace of mascara all be it I try my hardest. The They're Real adds a nice bit of length to my lashes and since using it in London my love for mascaras is starting to grow again as before I could take it or leave it... yes I know shocking, people always find that bizarre as mascara is something they can't do without even if it's the only piece of makeup they're applying but I can honestly be happy without it. I'd certainly recommend the mini mascaras if you are travelling anywhere as they come in super cute small packaging suitable to pop in either your handbag or makeup bag for the journey, plus they last out really well considering they are in miniature version.  

The Body Shop Strawberry Body Butter £6.00 50ml: - Admittedly I would have never have purchased this myself but The Body Shop kindly gifted it to me when I attended an event a few months ago and I've been using it on and off ever since. The strawberry scent seriously lingers longingly once applied to the skin, I like to use it just after I've showered and am about to jump in to my pyjamas for the night, with that being said I can actually smell it on my pyjamas right now after it's transferred on to them. Despite it being a smaller body butter I've almost used it all up and that's a great achievement within my skincare routine because I almost hate moisturising my body and I have a lot of products to choose from so to be nearly coming to an end I'd say it's done well. 

 Revolution Radiant Lights Glow £5.00: - I honestly can't believe this is the first time I'm talking about this product as I'm absolutely in love with it, so much so I use it more or less every single day to the point I've had to swap it out to allow my other highlighting products to get some use. Paul actually brought this for me for my birthday all the way back in June a I'd popped it on my birthday list, believe me the Makeup Revolution list was looooong as they are one or if not my favourite makeup brand for both quality and affordability and I'd be shock if a day goes by without a Makeup Revolution product being in my makeup routine. Initially when I opened up this highlighter I gasped and thought I wouldn't be able to pull it off but it transfers as such a beautiful light bronze shimmery highlighter on to my skin and has been the perfect highlighting buddy for the summertime. 

Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Treatment Gel £2.90 15ml: - What an absolute lifesaver this has been over the past fortnight. In times of need or shell we say "that time of the month" I needed something to help with a) my spots in general and b) the horrendous redness that came with them. Luckily I remember I had this 10ml sample size of Johnson & Johnson Clean & Clear from when I attended one of Abbigayle's from Stealstylist events Summer Scoop. This teamed with my Tea Tree oil treatment has worked wonders and I've really seen my spots reduce over night once I've applied the treatment gel. I'll certainly be keeping this one handy for the next time I suffer from any hormonal breakouts that's for sure. 

Little bit Lavish subscription box included in £20.00 per month Satin Leg Gloss £9.00 30ML: - Included in a subscription box gifted to me at the #BloggerTikiParty was this gorgeous Satin Leg Gloss by Evolve Beauty. The subscription box it came in was the Little bit Lavish box a brand new pamper product service perfect for pampering yourself with every month. Inside the box you will receive beautiful products to help you relax including face masks, lips balm or even a luxurious bathbomb the possibilities of pamper are endless believe me. The satin leg gloss that came inside the box is an impressive full size product designed to give your legs a glossy high shine finish and it does just that. I've been applying this dry body oil frequently throughout the summer as not only is it perfect at making your pins look banging in that playsuit it actually helps keep them soft and smooth after shaves. Just to make it even more fancy the mineral mica and titanium, yea I said titanium, will add a sparkle to your legs and the scent of sweet candy will leave peoples mouths watering, okay maybe a tad too far. 

 Heavan by Deborah Mitchell Weekenders Skincare Kit £28.00 10ml per product: - I couldn't contain my excitement when the lovely girls from Heaven at the #BloggerTikiParty said we could take some of the full size products home, what a kind gesture and a brilliant way to try out a new skincare brand. Lucky for me I got to take home the Weekenders Skincare Kit Anti Ageing, there are also other variations of the kit including acne, eczema and rosacea to name a few out of the 9 available, but considering the consultant ladies only had this one available this is the one I was gifted plus although I don't like to admit it, it is more than likely the one I would have opted for myself as I'm pushing thirty now. Included in the set you get Orange Flower Cell Renewal Hydro-gel, Bee Polish, Hydro Cleansing Milk these are pictured above as well as Age Defiance Moisturiser 5ml and sachets of Willow Bee Mask and Bee Bee Cream. I've included the 3 products above as these are the only once I've had the opportunity to try out so far plus I want to save the sachets for when I really need them, preferably when I need some youth restoring in to my face at the end of a working week. These are the perfect trio to pack away in your travel bag for your skincare routine and at the moment I tend to use them of a night time once I've removed all of my makeup. The hydro-gel in particular has to be my favourite as it freshens up my skin so much after a long day and you can even double it up and use it as a primer. After trying out these products I'll certainly be looking towards the Heaven brand more for skincare especially since I'm approaching my thirties and I honestly believe in looking after your skin at all ages but do we truly care about it until we get that little bit older? 

Although a small collection of products this time around I'm proud to say that there are some different brands included that might actually be new to some people out there. Hopefully you've taken some inspiration from my recommended products and will be excited to potentially try them out as well. I'd love to hear if you have tried out any of the above products in particular anything from Heaven by Deborah Mitchell, Evolve or if you are interested in signing up to the Little bit Lavish subscription box. 

Creightons Shampoo & Conditioner Review

My favourite current shampoo and conditioner has to be the Creightons Beautiful Brunette. I decided to try this out a while ago when I spied it in my local pound shop and thought it was worth a go. Lucky for me the wonderful people at Soapbox PR contacted me to send me some of the Creightons products and because I already knew I loved the products I obviously jumped at the chance to try them out again plus some more products from the Creightons range. Of course being a true brunette I've been using the Beautiful Brunette shampoo and conditioner the most and can give the most detailed review about these products in particular. The Beautiful Brunette range consists of argon and chestnut, something in particular that really stands out to me with the Creightons range is that it contains Pro-Vitamin B5 and sunscreen to protect your gorgeous hair, although I'm sure you'll be shocked to read we've actually had some really warm days in the U.K recently so the sun protection factor is much appreciated. Both the shampoo and condition come out in a dark brown shade, slightly off putting but this is all to help with enhancing either your natural colour or if you're a colour treated brunette. I've found that the combination of both leaves my hair feeling super soft and clean and I would certainly recommend the Creighton brand to others. As I mentioned above I have found this brand in Poundworld but it is also available through Tesco for £1 250ml.

 Top picture- Beautiful Brunette Shampoo and Conditioner- Sunshine Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner 
Bottom picture- Sunshine Blonde Tone Correcting Shampoo and Conditioner- Fizz No More Shampoo and Conditioner- Fizz No More Sleek & Shine Miracle Serum

Unfortunately I don't really have any use for the blonde hair care products so I'll be giving them to family & friends to try out and enjoy. I've started adding the Fizz No More Sleek & Shine Miracle Serum to my hair care routine and like to run a couple of pumps of it through my hair at the ends and a slight less amount on the top as these are the areas of my hair that tend to frizz during styling. I've found that this product has kept my hair relatively frizz free and it doesn't encourage oil or the greasy hair that I tend to get when I apply more products. In the coming week I'm looking at re-colouring my hair so I'm saving and planning on using the Fizz No More shampoo and conditioner then once it's done as it says it's colour kind so I think it would be best to save it for then. 

Have you tried out any of the Creightons range? I'm really enjoying the products and the fact that the Creightons range specifically caters to different hair types. I would certainly recommend these products but would you agree, as the products are so cheap at just £1 do you get what you pay for? 

** This product was sent to me for review purposes, all opinions are honest and my own

GLAMORISER Free-Stylers First Impressions

Being a naturally curly haired lady over the years growing up for me I've always been on the search for the perfect hair tools to give me that poker straight look. And although you can create many looks with straighteners other than straight locks this was why I always had a pair to hand. Throughout my teens as I grew my straighteners evolved from those beauty reto Babyliss wonders, to portables straighteners that required mini gas canisters, then Revlon to GHD's. I currently use a brand of straighteners from Irresistible Me you can read my full post here. But as I'm sure you will agree straighteners have never really been "travel friendly" until now. The brand Glamoriser London have brought us these cord free travel friendly straighteners Free-Styler. You can get your hands on these from numerous popular online and high-street outlets including Very, Argos, Boots and Debenhams from roughly £69.99- £59.99. 

Features & Benefits of the Free-Stylers 
stated in PR leaflet included

1. Small in size, big in power - fits perfectly into your handbag for professional results any place, any time, any way
2. Cordless - no cable, use anywhere
3. Black diamond oil infused plates reduce frizz for intense shine & luminescence 

Style straight or create curls
Floating ceramic plates glide through hair without snagging
Up to 40 minutes use 3-4 hours charging time
Travel lock and pouch
Variable heat settings to 200°C for complete styling or just touching up
Ultra fast heat recovery ready to use in 120 seconds 

My first impressions of the design of the Free-Styles was like wow, I like the black on while with the Glamoriser logo printed on top in gold. The travel lock at the back of the straighteners is perfect to close them and make them even more compact allowing you to pop them inside your handbag perfectly without taking up to much space. There are two settings on the straighteners one at low and the other high which is the setting for 200°C, and when turned on there is a flashing blue light that indicates that they are warming up and stops flashing once the temperature has been reached. Below the power switch there is an indicator of how much charge you have left in the straighteners and as this goes down a light will go off rather than its usual light blue colour. The Free-Stylers heat up incredibly fast and I would not argue that the ready to use in 120 seconds is true. After charging for a good 4 hours I decided to test out these cordless minis to see what results they would give my hair. Ultimately I would not replace my day-to-day straighteners with these but I don't think they set out to do that but they are ideal for touch ups and perfect for your handbag especially if you get caught in a hair emergency, that I have found myself in many times on a night out and had to use the toilet pay as you use straighteners but these are ideal to eliminate that nightmare. On my first use they did leave my hair slightly static and when I placed my hands near to the plates I did feel a slight electric spark from this but nothing at all to alarm me and after the first initial use this did not happen again.      

If you are looking for some super travel friendly mini straighteners for daily touch ups or short hair these would be perfect however I would not recommend for daily use on longer hair. 

** This product was sent to me from Soapbox PR for review purposes, all opinions are honest and my own 

TOAD Diaries The Blogger Edition

To keep your blog organised I feel like every good blogger needs the perfect blogging journal. A must for jotting down your ideas and planning out your post before you publish them to go live to the world. Luckily enough for me when I attended the BloggerTikkiParty I started talking with Emily from TOAD Diaries, unfortunately all of the blogger journals had already been bagged by some of the other bloggers at the event, but Emily kindly said if I dropped her an email she would kindly send one out to me which she indeed did. The whole purpose of Toad providing the Blogging Journal was for actual bloggers to be able to test try out them out, review them and feedback to TOAD about any recommended possible improvements. In case you didn't know TOAD Diaries in a nutshell allows you to create and personalise your own diary or notebook, pretty darn awesome hey? The TOAD Blogger Journal has a protective plastic cover wiro bonded on the front and the back keeping it safe from damage and any spillages if you're a total klutz like me. The front cover also has a very apt quote "I blog therefore I am" on it with a black marble effect surrounding it, TOAD have certainly done their research on us bloggers as I doubt you can deny everything is uber bloggeresk. 

 Upon opening the first page on the left you are greeted with beautiful inspirational quotes in a multicolored mixture my personal favourite has to be from Edward Young "Procrastination is the thief of time" never has a saying been more true. The right hand side of the journal focuses on The TOAD Story to tell us a little more about the brand and on this page it allows you to write your name and various contact details should you wish to, usually I don't like to add such personal details to my diaries, journals etc however I understand a lot of people do so this would be useful to many I'm sure. Inside the Blogger Journal the layout consists of a date & day log, goals, achieved by, reward, a to do tick list and a plain dotted layout which is brilliant if like me you like to bullet journal. I could honestly see myself using the majority of the subheadings to jot down thoughts and ideas plus I find the dotted space great for forward planning. The only one thing I probably wouldn't use is the reward section, although this would suit a person who is a full-time blogger as they could log any sponsored paid content information here for me blogging is purely my hobby and although yes at times I am fortunate enough to receive things etc this is not often enough for me to require a reward section in my Blogging Journal. Towards the back you have some simple green plain paper, I'd mainly use this for brainstorming any ideas for future posts and what I need to do prior to the post being written for example written content, photographs and if there are any products I need to purchase for the post whether that be the product I'm reviewing or a prop for my photographs. At the back TOAD have been very cleaver and included a pocket for your journal so you can keep any items safe in it like train tickets, stamps or typical of me stickers, plus there is a cute origami toad you can make up included but I haven't given that a go yet.  

Final thoughts are this is a bloggers MUST, perfect for staying organised and I'll certainly be using it in the future for writing down details and planning my future posts. Would you be interested in seeing an updated version of this post once I have been using the TOAD Blogger Journal for a while, please let me know in the comments below. 

**This product was sent to me by TOAD Diaries for review purposes, all opinions are honest and my own

Beauty Giveaway **CLOSED**

As well as my regular scheduled post today I wanted to do something a little different and almost impromptu, a giveaway. I'm not really hosting this giveaway for any other reason than to say thank you to my readers and subscribers. I've decided to do a giveaway with a mixture of both beauty and skincare products, here's what you can win in my latest giveaway: - 

Baylis & Harding sweet mandarin & grapefruit luxury shower crème
Baylis & Harding sweet mandarin & grapefruit indulgent moisturising hand & body lotion
Baylis & Harding sweet mandarin & grapefruit balancing body wash
The Body Shop shea body whip
Bee Good honey & propolis 2-in-1 cream cleanser
Monu Skin active cleanser- combination skin
Monu Skin gentle cleanser- dry/ sensitive skin
Ardell Press on Lash 
Next make me beautiful ink liner- brown 
Next make me beautiful eyeshadow quad
Freedom Pro 12 Audacious 3 palette 
Freedom pro lipstick kit Vamp Collection 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions Apply

**The opening date for the giveaway will be Thursday 1st September 2016 closing on Saturday 1st October 2016

**For UK winner only 

**Winner must be able to provide a valid UK address

**Please be aware that unfortunately if you enter under a company name your entry will not count

**You must follow me via Bloglovin' and this will be mandatory on the Rafflecopter entry link as I would like the prize to go to a reader of my page

**The prize will be sent out with First Class postage, if anything is lost, stolen or broken I do not hold responsibility for this nor will I be obligated to provide any replacements

**The winner will be selected at random through Rafflecopter, the mandatory fields will be checked and if you have falsely entered the giveaway your entry will be disqualified 

**Winner will be contacted via personal email provided if no reply within 7 days another winner will be selected at random

**You must be over 18 or have permission from a parent/ guardian before providing your address if you are the successful winner

Good luck to all of the people that enter my giveaway and don't forget to comment what your favourite makeup product is and why...

Netflix Recommendations #1

Whilst I've been on holiday and when I say holiday I literally just mean chilling at home I've become seriously obsessed with Netflix. You could say I've always been a fan of the online entertainment website, dipping in and out of it occasionally watching a film here and the odd season episode there but just recently I've become addicted to it. In case you've been living under a Netflix rock the current series taking over the lives of fellow Netflix lovers is Stranger Things with a whopping 8.2 million people watching it and this has been reported to be the most popular Netflix original series of all time and I can totally understand why. I'll try not to give too much away but I'd already watched the 10 episode series in a day, something totally unheard of for me but I just found it so gripping, think Alien, the Goonies, E.T set in the 80's with a funky playlist and that sums up Stranger Things as best I can without a spoiler alert. If you like the paranormal and a series that will keep you guessing then this is for you, my only problem now is awaiting confirmation of season 2, oh and of course #justiceforbarbs. 

After finishing watching Stranger Things I needed something else to focus on so I turned to another Netflix original Narcos and I wasn't disappointed. Based on the life of the Columbia drug lord Pablo Escobar the first season looks at how he established his empire with the second season about to drop soon on the 2nd September continuing on from the first and we will see what Escobar does next after escaping his own personal prison, what will the Colombian government do and how will the DEA react to this? In comparison to Stranger Things I actually marginally prefer Narcos because it's based on a true life story and although totally mad and outrageous it is extremely interesting. Hurry up September! One thing to point out is you do really have to concentrate with this program as a lot is in subtitles due to it being in Spanish, if only I had concentrated more in my languages classes. 

Links to the above program posters including Stranger ThingsNarcoPretty Little LiarsScream 

Okay don't hate on me for saying this but I've only just recently "got into" Pretty Little Liars or PLL for shortened terms. I don't know why it took me so long as I'd always heard it mentioned and the massive following this program has but like I mentioned I'd never really become a Netflix addict only occasionally watching a film here and there. So forgive me I'm not very far in and my brain is a mess from all of the possibilities of who 'A' could be, I have to admit I've even occasionally Googled it because the not knowing is too much for me to stand although despite this I feel no more informed or satisfied from what I read online so with that said I should probably just continue watching and find out for my damn self! I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this program, should I continue watching it or just give up now before I become deeply invested in it? 

A new Netflix original I've just started watching is the T.V series of Scream the cult horror movie from 1996, wow anybody else feel old? At the moment I'm only half way through season 1 but just like the film there is a crazy serial killer on the loose killing of the towns teenagers one by one it seems. Social media/ technology plays a big part in this just like PLL with the killer contacting Em on a regular basis via text message and phone calls with a creepy app changing voice on the other end. Warning don't watch this one on your own if you're easily scared and again like PLL it will leave you guessing who the Brandon James killer is, plus you'll probably have nightmares about that scary as hell mask!

And that's my round up of current Netflix recommendations. Let me know if you've watched or are watching any of the above programs, I'd in particular like to know your thoughts on Narcos and Stranger Things plus if Pretty Little Liars is really worth the hype?